Family Justice Council 3rd Annual Debate

A debate hosted by the Family Justice Council in the Parliament Room at the Inner Temple, London EC4 on Wednesday 9 December 2009.

The Family Justice Council hosted a debate to disuss whether the media should be given greater access to the family courts.

Attended by proffessionals from all areas of the family justice system, the debate followed the publication of the Children, Schools and Families Bill which contains proposals for increasing media reporting of family courts.

Chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Thorpe, the speakers in favour of greater media access were solicitor Sarah Harman, and the BBC journalist Sanchia Berg. Speaking against further reporting were Alex Verdan QC and Child adolescent psychiatrist Doctor Mike Shaw.

After the speeches there was a question and answer session with an expert panel including;

  • Russell Bywater (solicitor)
  • Dr Margaret De Jong ( consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist)
  • His Honour Judge Donald Hamiltion
  • Alistair MacDonald (Barrister)
  • Sarah Peace (Social Worker)
  • Joshua Rozenberg (former legal correspondont of the BBC and legal editor of the Daily Telegraph)

A summary (external link) of the proceedings and a podcast recorded at the event is available here: